Product Lifecycle Management Blogs by SAP
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About SAP Enterprise Product Development

Cloud computing has become mainstream business and standard IT strategy in many industries and line of businesses. Based on our customer projects we now understand that companies that successfully integrate the cloud into their product design and development processes allow for data availability, scalability, and flexibility as business needs change more frequently. In 2021, I observed that cloud-based Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) solutions are significantly growing in popularity. More and more product teams I met last year were leveraging the cloud to collaboratively develop a new generation of intelligent and sustainable products.

In the latest release of SAP Enterprise Product Development, we have incorporated innovative PLM capabilities centered around the cloud. In this article I want to share my favourite product highlights and explain how these innovations drive tangible business outcomes. The innovations can be categorized in three process areas: Define, Develop, and Deliver.

Define Intelligent & Sustainable Products

In the “Define” process, product teams can collect ideas, prioritize customer needs, and define requirements based on what the customer wants. The product features are designed to bring the end-customer into the product development process. The goal is to enable Product Managers and Requirements Engineers to identify product improvement needs and fix broken product experiences.

In the latest release we have strengthened this process area with an emphasis on features that improve the quality of requirement statements. Product Managers and Requirements Engineers can now define rules to ensure that requirement specifications meet the quality criteria of well-formed requirement statements. This innovation improves the collaboration between product development teams, helps to avoid unnecessary iterations, and fosters the reuse of requirements from previous projects.

Develop Intelligent & Sustainable Products

In the “Develop” process, product teams can detail out and industrialize products across the extended enterprise. The related product features enable teams to leverage a model- and collaboration-based product development approach. Based on collaboration features, SAP Enterprise Product Development aims to enable companies to create a single source of truth for enterprise objects such as product structures, specifications, or documents. Additionally, this process area supports the development of digital twins based on engineering models. In the latest release we have strengthened this process area with the following innovations:

  • System Engineers can use the new “Traceability Matrix” to define and view relationships between requirements and other business objects. The overview of linked objects will improve the management of dependencies across the product lifecycle and enable teams to bring products faster to market.

  • Technical Buyers and Sellers can use the new integration with SAP Ariba Sourcing to exchange product data in dedicated collaboration rooms. The features improve the sourcing of technical products in RFx processes and enable reductions in product sourcing costs.

Deliver Intelligent & Sustainable Products

In the “Deliver” process, product teams can provide additional value by offering digital services aimed at increasing after-sales business and driving customer satisfaction. The related product features enable teams to leverage state-of-the-art 2D/3D visualizations and Internet-of-Things-based processes to deliver innovative after-market services.

  • Service Providers can create and use 2D and 3D product data to create interactive spare parts catalogs to increase after-market revenue. This innovation includes a complete pipeline of tools for the creation and maintenance of interactive 2D and 3D spare parts catalogs.

  • Product Managers can develop and monetize digital twins through an integration with SAP Subscription Billing. Additionally, through an integration with SAP Asset Intelligence Network, equipment manufacturers can invite their customers to view additional data from the product.

Looking for more detailed information?

The cloud in PLM allows manufacturers to focus on innovations based on customer needs. Cloud-based PLM systems are changing the way how products are developed and yet it's so new to the industry that many companies don't yet realize what business outcomes it can drive. If you would like to learn more about SAP Enterprise Product Development and the role of the cloud in PLM, check out our recent webinars or directly register here for a free trial.

All of our upcoming innovations are available in the SAP Roadmap Explorer, where we continuously update our planned innovations. If you are interested in influencing the roadmap, we invite you to create an improvement request via our Continuous Influence program. We look forward to hearing from you, discussing your needs, and providing you with more insights.

About the author

Ismail is the Head of Product for SAP Product Lifecycle Management.